the wheels on the bus

Went round and round.

For many a mile. Or meter. I’ve heard a rough estimate of 2300 km or 1430 miles. Everything’s different over there. Selcuk would tell us the distance to a certain mountain, sea, or city in kilometers and I’d just kinda nod and not even bother to try with mental calculations. And when you’d get on the bus at 8 in the morning and see that it was 15 degrees outside, you’d pause, do a double take, then remember the cheater formula Davey had taught you and try to figure out what the weather is like.

But back to the lands we traveled. Here’s our map;

with our route, kindly drawn by Selcuk, in black.

And now you can better picture as to how we were in Europe one day and Asia the next.

My favorite day was probably day 5 and took place in those two circles on the lowest western point of the map: Ephesus and Kusadasi.

Kusadasi because we were here:and got to swim in that amazing sea.

And Ephesus…and just being in Turkey, has given books and chapters in the new testament more meaning. They’ve come to life.

So day 5 was very cool. But there were some other smashing days that I’ll share with you at some point.

Back to life on the bus. Or life before the bus.

Wake up call was generally at 6:30 every morning. Luggage out at 7:00. Breakfast until departure at 8:00.

And breakfast was often interesting. Every place served something like this:As 99.5% of the population is Muslim, they don’t do the whole pork thing and I never thought it was a wise idea to try chicken sausage at 7:00 am. So, I often had a breakfast of watermelon. I actually don’t think I’ve ever had better watermelon.

And then, on the bus.

It was a 40 passenger, 2012 Mercedes Benz, completely manufactured in Turkey with the exception of the engine.

It was full and complete with delightful characters such as…Les! (We all hope Jan is feeling better!)

Because of our slightly busy schedule and slightly early hours, I do believe naps were taken by one and by all. The bus simply lolled one to sleep. And it was quite nice to feel safe in the hands of our driver, Mr. G!

Mr G’s name is actually Girsel. But one of our Aussie friends had a difficult time saying that and changed it to Mr. G. And soon the whole bus affectionately dubbed him that. Mr. G naturally made me think of a G-man and since he was a man of few words (English words that is) with a superior mustache, his new name was all the more hilarious.

And let me tell you, he drove that bus like a g-man. Not only was it a manual, but he totally owned the road, passed on the double yellow line like it was his job and squeezed through impossibly tight alleys. The whole bus would be literally silent as we craned our necks to try to see the millimeters betweeen us and the parked cars on one side and us and the bridge on the other. Mr. G would be quietly muttering away in Turkish as if he was merely annoyed with the sloppy parking jobs. We’d all continue to suck in our stomachs but Mr. G did not need our assistance and we’d emerge without a scratch and the whole bus would erupt into cheers and ‘GO Mr. G!’s’

And he’d say, in his gruff, Turkish accented English, ‘Thank you.’ And we’d all laugh and cheer some more.

It’s safe to say we were all quite fond of him. He’d been driving buses for 30 years and it was quite nice to have that amount of experience behind the wheel. We still wonder why Davey didn’t put his go-pro camera on the side mirror-it would have videoed some harrowing adventures.

Mr. G also really liked to stay with the bus and it was nice to know your belongings were quite safe. And hilarious to watch him shoo away Chinese tourists who kept getting on the wrong bus. It’s amazing how effectively you can communicate without speaking the same language.

And he was always on time. And after walking for miles and miles, to watch him pull up was always a delightful sight.

And now, another delightful sight is calling me. (My bed.)

More adventures to come!

About A Story of Us

My grandparents 57th wedding anniversary and my first wedding anniversary motivated to journal the adventures life brought our way . I hope to amuse the friends and family I have all over the country and, when I am my grandmothers age, look back at what I have written and chuckle. It's been four years since I began and the snickers I bring myself as I look back propel me to write on. Cheers to the future and happy memories of the past.
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5 Responses to the wheels on the bus

  1. U Dave says:

    Another good one Kels! (Hello from sunny Florida)

  2. Les and Janice says:

    Hi Kelsey,
    Great pics, especially the one of the bloke in the tea-towel.
    We had an uneventful trip home, fortunately not as hard on Jan as we thought it may have been. We both went off to the doctors the morning we arrived home, and he checked the medication given to Jan in Turkey. He said it was the same as we use here for Shingles, but unfortunately it needs to be administered within 72 hours of the first symptoms for it to have the greatest effect. So it looks like it may be a fairly long recovery.
    On a more cheerful note, everything was good at home, the house sitter had done a great job, the dog and cat were waiting eagerly for us, well, the dog was, the cat was waiting eagerly to be fed by whoever came through the door.
    Keep up the great work with the story of you, it is enjoyable reading.
    Kindest regards
    Les and Jan

  3. Aunt Stace says:

    Very entertaining, Kels. I especially like the visual of Mr. G shooing the Chinese away from your bus. Oh and I do wish Davey had mounted his little camera on the bus mirror. That would have been awesome. Next time.

  4. Jeannine says:

    Enjoyed reading! And especially enjoyed the personal preview of this story that you gave Kenley and me yesterday at Sweet Frog! Thanks for sharing a bit of your day to have that ‘sweet’ adventure with us! Love, J

  5. your mother says:

    i love re-living all these fun days! Glad to hear Les/Janice made it home ok. How about the cruise ship folks did they love the cruise? Is Selcuk and Mr. G missing all of us? : ) I did say the other day “too bad Selcuk isn’t here to plan my day for me and tell me what all needs to be done”. ahh and just think if Mr. G could drive me around? yep that was a nice way to spend 10 days.

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